Not all moves are of the big impact variety, but they still can hold fantasy relevance nonetheless. Whether they have a chance to contribute to 12-team mixed leagues or maybe deeper formats, these three players are worth keeping tabs on.
Cody Ross: Signed by the Red Sox
Ross has been mixed league relevant from time-to-time over his career. He has some power and can swipe a base here or there. Last season, Ross dealt with injuries and it showed in his production. If healthy, and while playing home games in the hitter friendly Fenway Park, Ross should see a small spike in his home runs and doubles as his power is to the side of the Green Monster. However, Ross has proven that he is quite less effective against right-handed pitching over his career (.253/.313/.414, .161 ISO). Against left-handed pitching is where his power numbers start to thrive (.282/..349/.563, .282 ISO). In leagues where one could utilize Ross’s starts against lefties, he has considerable value. In most formats, however, he’ll be a nice player to add off of the waiver wire when he starts to swing a hot bat.
Juan Pierre: Signed by the Phillies
In 2010, Pierre stole 68 bases. Last season, however, that total plummeted to 27 and in only two fewer games. At age 34, one has to wonder how much stolen base potential Pierre has left in him. The other problem is whether or not he is even going to make the Phillies roster out of spring training. They have John Mayberry and Laynce Nix slotted as a R/L platoon in left field and on top of that they have top prospect Domonic Brown, who is seemingly being pushed back to triple-A (or eventaully traded).
The only way Pierre has any value is if he makes the team out of spring training and ends up as the left-handed platoon partner to John Mayberry. At that point, he might be able to provide some cheap steals for those in NL-only formats.
Brad Lidge: Signed by the Nationals
When healthy enough to toe the rubber, Lidge has been mildly effective, continuing to post good strikeout rates, but poor walk rates. Hoever, having dealt with right elbow or shoulder issues since 2008, Lidge is not expected to walk into Washington and take away the closer’s role from young Drew Storen.
When it comes to potential closers sometimes you just have to ask yourself, “Is there a scenario in which [player] could become the closer?” In Lidge’s case, albeit unlikely, the answer is yes. Any scenario in which Lidge becomes the closer must first involve Storen either completely falling apart (not likely) or getting injured (pitchers get injured). While Lidge may be behind Tyler Clippard on the depth chart initially, he has that thing that managers tend to covet: “closing experience” (oooooowwwwwwhhhh). Should Storen have to be removed from the role for one reason or anther, Lidge, assuming he’s healthy and pitching well, might actually get the nod over Clippard due to his experience in the ninth inning.
This is not a likely scenario, but it is a possible one.